Amnesty Blames Major COVID Vaccine Manufacturers for Vaccine Unequal

Amnesty Blames Major COVID Vaccine Manufacturers for Vaccine Unequal

Six major manufacturers of the COVID-19 vaccine “are fueling an unprecedented human rights crisis by refusing to relinquish intellectual property rights and share vaccine technology,” Amnesty International said in a report.
In the report released Wednesday, titled “A Double Dose of Inequality”, the rights group denounced AstraZeneca, BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Novavax and Pfizer for “turning and dealing in favor of rich states.”

“Vaccinating the world is our only way out of this crisis,” said Agnès Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

“It should be time to salute these companies, who created vaccines so quickly, like heroes. But instead, to their shame and our collective grief, Big Pharma’s intentional blocking of knowledge transfer and transfer to wealthy states has created an utterly predictable, and yet utterly devastating, vaccine shortage. others.

Amnesty said it looked at each company’s human rights policy, vaccine pricing structure, intellectual property records, knowledge and technology sharing, equitable distribution of available vaccine doses and transparency. .

He said research found that to varying degrees the six vaccine developers had failed to fulfill their human rights responsibilities.

“Of the 5.76 billion doses administered worldwide, a meager 0.3% went to low-income countries and over 79% to upper-middle and high-income countries,” the report says.

“Despite calls to prioritize and collaborate with the COVAX Facility, the international instrument to ensure equitable global vaccine allocation, some of the companies evaluated have continued to stock vaccine supplies for states known to hoard the vaccine. “

The report adds that all of the companies assessed have refused to participate in internationally coordinated initiatives designed to boost global supply by sharing knowledge and technology.

Amnesty said companies have also opposed proposals to temporarily lift intellectual property rights, such as India’s proposed World Trade Organization Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rules (TRIPS) waiver and South Africa.

“Today marks 100 days before the end of the year. We call on states and pharmaceutical companies to radically change course and do whatever is necessary to deliver two billion vaccines to low and lower middle income countries now. No one should spend another year suffering and living in fear, ”Callamard said.

Colombian President Ivan Duque told the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday that the international community must fairly distribute COVID-19 vaccines to avoid the creation of new, more formidable variants of the coronavirus.

“I call on the international community to strengthen multilateralism in health and advance equity in vaccine distribution. It is our moral duty, ”said Duque.

“If delays in the equal distribution of vaccines continue in all countries, we, humanity, are exposed to new variants that attack us with greater ferocity. Global immunity requires solidarity, therefore hoarding cannot exist in the face of the needs of others. “


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